Power of the pooch pound as UK owners spend £10.64 billion on their pets
The study by American Express found that some of the principal beneficiaries have been the small businesses that have sprung up to cater for the rising demand.
The research found that some 62% of the nation’s dog owners said they used small independent businesses when shopping for their pets. The most popular reasons given included quality of service and the fact that the shop keeper knows their pet and can find the best product.
In addition, 26% of long-term dog owners said they spent more money on their pets now than they did five years ago, and a quarter said they were happy to make a special journey to buy something from their favourite shop.
The release of the findings coincides with American Express’s support of Small Business Saturday to be held on 3 December.
Alice Noone, vice president of marketing at American Express, said: “As a champion of small businesses we recognise their importance to the health of the local economy. However, this research also highlights the role these small, independent shops play in maintaining the health and happiness of our family pets. We hope to encourage dog lovers to lend their support and shop small on 3 December and beyond.”
Breaking down the overall spend, the research found that, on average, dog owners spend £393.48 a year on dog food – the biggest single cost. Other necessary expenditure includes insurance and dogs’ health with vet bills and medicines coming in at an average £73.33 annually.
That means that the remaining £541.46 spent on average per dog annually is discretionary. Those costs include toys, professional grooming, kennels, clothing and accessories.
The study also found that 45% of owners polled regularly buy gifts for their dogs. Owners also love to keep their pooches looking their best all year around, with one in ten dog owners ensuring their pets are groomed at least once a week. In addition, 35% of owners said they buy their pet a birthday cake while 59% said admitted to purchasing a gift.
Image courtesy of Tanya Edwards.
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